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Supreme Court declines use of regional language in five High Courts

Utkarsh Classes 16-08-2023
Supreme Court declines use of regional language in five High Courts Supreme Court 4 min read

The Government of India informed the Rajya Sabha that the Supreme Court  has declined to accept the request of the central government to allow the use of regional language in the High courts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka , Gujarat, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.This information was given by Union Minister of State,of Law and Justice(Independent charge) ,Arjun Meghwal in Rajya Sabha. 

The minister said  it had received proposals from the Government of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Karnataka to permit use of Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi, Bengali and Kannada in the proceedings of the Madras High Court, Gujarat High Court, Chhattisgarh High Court, Calcutta High Court and Karnataka High Court respectively. 

The advice of the Chief Justice of India was sought by the central government on these proposals and the  Full Court of the Supreme Court after due deliberations, decided not to accept the proposals.

Constitutional provision regarding use of language in  Supreme and  High Courts 

Article 348(1) of the Constitution of India provides that all proceedings in the Supreme Court and every High Court shall be in the English language until Parliament by law otherwise provides.

Clause (2) of the Article 348 of the Constitution provides that the Governor of a State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorise the use of Hindi Language, or any other language used for any official purposes of the State, in proceedings in the High Court having its principal seat in that State.

The Cabinet Committee’s decision dated 21st May 1965 has stipulated that consent of the Chief Justice of India be obtained on any proposal relating to use of a language other than English in the High Court.

High Court which uses regional languages 

The use of Hindi in the proceedings of the High Court of Rajasthan was authorised under clause (2) of Article 348 of the constitution in 1950. The use of Hindi was authorised in the High Courts of Uttar Pradesh (1969), Madhya Pradesh (1971) and Bihar (1972) in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti’

To promote the use of regional language in courts a ‘Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti’ has been constituted by the Bar Council of India, under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Law and Justice .

Former Chief justice of India Justice S.A. Bobde is the chairman of the ‘ Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti’. 

The Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti job is to develop a Common Core Vocabulary close to all Indian languages for the purpose of translating legal material into regional languages.

Chief Justice of India : D.Y.Chandrachud

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